Stocks – Market Sees Biggest Rally Since Early September

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© Reuters. © Reuters. – Stocks enjoyed their best day since early September Friday as Wall Street was cheered by a solid jobs report that saw the unemployment rate hit a milestone low.

The and the jumped 1.42%. The and indices added 1.4% and 1.5%, respectively.

The S&P 500’s point gain was its best since July 13. The gains for the — about 372 points — and Nasdaq were their best since Sept. 5. The rally cut the Dow’s and S&P 500’s losses for the week to 1% or lower. The Nasdaq finished up 0.5% for the week.

The rally was largely computer-driven: The uniformity of the gains was a clear signal of across -the-board blanket buying.

It was set off by that showed payrolls increasing by 136,000 last month and the unemployment rate falling to 3.5%, the lowest in at least 50 years. Bullish as the report sounds, the employment gain was smaller than expected, and wage growth fell back slightly.

The report was a big relief after early reports this past week suggested a stagnating economy getting close to a recession.

The was led by gains of 2.6% or more for Merck (NYSE:) and Apple (NASDAQ:). Chemical maker Dow Inc (NYSE:) was the one decliner.

Among the stocks, Apple (NASDAQ:) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:), along with Google parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:) and (NASDAQ:), contributed more than 40 points to the index’s 110-point gain.

Interest rates fell even as stocks climbed, in part because Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said he is looking for ways to boost inflation.

Crude oil moved higher. was up 36 cents to $52.81. , the global benchmark, rose 66 cents to $58.37. They were off 5.5% and 4.4% respectively for the week.

were down slightly at $1512.90, but up 0.4% on the week.

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